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Using Lists to Segment Your Database In HubSpot

Using Lists to Segment Your Database In HubSpot

Lists are an important part of your marketing because they help segment your database into common traits.  You can use lists to streamline your email marketing strategy and deliver the most appropriate and customised content to your contacts. Our friends over at HubShots produced a great podcast detailing list segmentation best practices, which we've summarised for you below.


In HubSpot, lists are the building blocks of your campaigns. They:
  • provide quick insights into results
  • are used in workflows, reports and dashboards  
  • improve the experience in forms
  • enable smart content
  • provide access in protected content (eg articles, pages and ticket portals)
  • plus they are the conduit with integrations into other systems.


In short, they are a very powerful and important foundation for using HubSpot. So, getting a clear understanding of how to use them well is a pro path for anyone wanting to improve their HubSpot game.


Types of Lists

There’s two main types of lists, which at their simplest are:
  • Active: Based on criteria and they update automatically.
  • Static: Based on criteria, but don’t update. Plus, the main benefit of Static lists is that contacts can be added/removed manually from them.

For example: the Active list would be constantly updated to the current list of contacts who are customers, whereas the Static list would only show the list of contacts who were customers at the time the list was saved.

Both are useful in their own way, but you’ll find that Active lists are the main type you use.


How Many Lists Should I Have?

We encourage you to build lots of lists! The actual number of lists you can create will depend on the HubSpot subscription tier you are on (free, pro, enterprise). But if you have the capability of creating lists, then you can slice and dice your database into segments that allows much more personalised and targeted communication.


How Flexible Are Lists?

A huge advantage of creating lists is that you can use a range of criteria to segment your contacts. 

Criteria categories you can use include:

  • Contact properties (ie any properties of the contact ‘object’)
  • Other objects (ie if the contact is associated with a deal, ticket, quote, etc)
  • Assets (eg workflows or other lists)
  • Behaviour (Eg any engagement with ads, forms, emails, pages, CTAs, etc)
  • Integrations (Eg any integration with PandaDoc, HotJar, MailChimp, etc).

Essentially you can segment your contacts based on the most granular of criteria, giving you incredible power to report on and interact with in a positive way.


Common Lists Used By Businesses


Form Submissions

At its simplest, you could create a list of any and all form submissions using criteria like this:

Form Submissions Segmentation HubSpot

Whilst good to see the total number of form submissions, you’ll more likely be interested in specific form submissions related to a particular brand, product or service.

For example, we could look at any form submission from the 'Request a Quote' page of your website over the last 2 months.


Lifecycle stages

Lifecycle stages are a common criteria for building lists eg a list of Good fit Customers:

For example, you could have a contact who has a lifecycle stage of Customer, who might be eligible for a repairs and maintenance call on their solar system. So you would label them as a "marketing qualified lead" and start sending email communications to them a few weeks before their system is eligible for a solar inspection.

Lifecycle stages MQL HubSpot


Internal lists (eg Staff)

Here’s a handy list to create - internal staff lists (which you may later use to exclude from other lists or activities).

Here’s a simple one we use:

Internal lists HubSpot

It simply checks the domain of a contact’s email address.


Bounced contacts

Here’s an example of checking for contacts who had an email bounce:

Bounced contacts segmentation HubSpot

If you wanted to be more specific about the bounced reason you could set criteria on that as well:

Bounced contacts HubSpot


Behavioral lists

Using the marketing interactions criteria in lists allows you to segment based on things such as:

  • Forms they’ve submitted (which we already looked at earlier)
  • Emails they’ve opened or clicked
  • Pages they’ve visited
  • Calls to Action they’ve clicked
  • Ads they’ve engaged with


Engaged Lists

You can easily create lists based on engagement. For example, here’s a simple example of contacts who have viewed more than 20 pages:

Engaged contacts List HubSpot

Note: this would include contacts over all time. You could also filter on page visits in the last 2 weeks:

filter on page visits HubSpot


Contact Owner Unknown

Lists also allow you to clean up contact data - by finding contacts that are missing data. For example, here’s a list of contacts who don’t have a contact owner:

Contact Owner Unknown HubSpot Segmentation


Want To Chat About a List Segmentation?

Ready To Chat About The Best HubSpot Plan For Your Solar Business?All of this information might seem overwhelming at first, but you don’t need to try to remember how to do it all. Just remember what’s possible.  If you would like to explore segmentation further please reach out! 

👉🏻 Book some time with us for a chat today.   


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HubShots Podcast: HubSpot List Best Practices

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